Internet Shakespeare Editions

Become a FriendSign in

About this text

  • Title: The Taming of the Shrew (Folio, 1623)
  • Editor: Erin Kelly
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-468-4

    Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-proift purposes; for all other uses contact the Coordinating Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Erin Kelly
    Not Peer Reviewed

    The Taming of the Shrew (Folio, 1623)

    Was aptly fitted, and naturally perform'd.
    Sincklo. I thinke 'twas Soto that your honor meanes.
    Lord. 'Tis verie true, thou didst it excellent:
    100Well you are come to me in happie time,
    The rather for I haue some sport in hand,
    Wherein your cunning can assist me much.
    There is a Lord will heare you play to night;
    But I am doubtfull of your modesties,
    105Least (ouer-eying of his odde behauiour,
    For yet his honor neuer heard a play)
    You breake into some merrie passion,
    And so offend him: for I tell you sirs,
    If you should smile, he growes impatient.
    110Plai. Feare not my Lord, we can contain our selues,
    Were he the veriest anticke in the world.
    Lord. Go sirra, take them to the Butterie,
    And giue them friendly welcome euerie one,
    Let them want nothing that my house affoords.
    115Exit one with the Players.
    Sirra go you to Bartholmew my Page,
    And see him drest in all suites like a Ladie:
    That done, conduct him to the drunkards chamber,
    And call him Madam, do him obeisance:
    120Tell him from me (as he will win my loue)
    He beare himselfe with honourable action,
    Such as he hath obseru'd in noble Ladies
    Vnto their Lords, by them accomplished,
    Such dutie to the drunkard let him do:
    125With soft lowe tongue, and lowly curtesie,
    And say: What is't your Honor will command,
    Wherein your Ladie, and your humble wife,
    May shew her dutie, and make knowne her loue.
    And then with kinde embracements, tempting kisses,
    130And with declining head into his bosome
    Bid him shed teares, as being ouer-ioyed
    To see her noble Lord restor'd to health,
    Who for this seuen yeares hath esteemed him
    No better then a poore and loathsome begger:
    135And if the boy haue not a womans guift
    To raine a shower of commanded teares,
    An Onion wil do well for such a shift,
    Which in a Napkin (being close conuei'd)
    Shall in despight enforce a waterie eie:
    140See this dispatch'd with all the hast thou canst,
    Anon Ile giue thee more instructions.
    Exit a seruingman.
    I know the boy will wel vsurpe the grace,
    Voice, gate, and action of a Gentlewoman:
    145I long to heare him call the drunkard husband,
    And how my men will stay themselues from laughter,
    When they do homage to this simple peasant,
    Ile in to counsell them: haply my presence
    May well abate the ouer-merrie spleene,
    150Which otherwise would grow into extreames.

    Enter aloft the drunkard with attendants, some with apparel,
    Bason and Ewer,& other appurtenances,& Lord.
    Beg. For Gods sake a pot of small Ale.
    1.Ser. Wilt please your Lord drink a cup of sacke?
    1552.Ser. Wilt please your Honor taste of these Con-
    3.Ser. What raiment wil your honor weare to day.
    Beg. I am Christophero Sly, call not mee Honour nor
    Lordship: I ne're drank sacke in my life: and if you giue
    160me any Conserues, giue me conserues of Beefe: nere ask
    me what raiment Ile weare, for I haue no more doub-
    lets then backes: no more stockings then legges: nor
    no more shooes then feet, nay sometime more feete then
    shooes, or such shooes as my toes looke through the o-
    Lord. Heauen cease this idle humor in your Honor.
    Oh that a mightie man of such discent,
    Of such possessions, and so high esteeme
    Should be infused with so foule a spirit.
    170Beg. What would you make me mad? Am not I Chri-
    stopher Slie, old Sies sonne of Burton-heath, by byrth a
    Pedler, by education a Cardmaker, by transmutation a
    Beare-heard, and now by present profession a Tinker.
    Aske Marrian Hacket the fat Alewife of Wincot, if shee
    175know me not: if she say I am not xiiii.d. on the score for
    sheere Ale, score me vp for the lyingst knaue in Christen
    dome. What I am not bestraught: here's---
    3.Man. Oh this it is that makes your Ladie mourne.
    2. Mar. Oh this is it that makes your seruants droop.
    180Lord. Hence comes it, that your kindred shuns your (house
    As beaten hence by your strange Lunacie.
    Oh Noble Lord, bethinke thee of thy birth,
    Call home thy ancient thoughts from banishment,
    And banish hence these abiect lowlie dreames:
    185Looke how thy seruants do attend on thee,
    Each in his office readie at thy becke.
    Wilt thou haue Musicke? Harke Apollo plaies, Musick
    And twentie caged Nightingales do sing.
    Or wilt thou sleepe? Wee'l haue thee to a Couch,
    190Softer and sweeter then the lustfull bed
    On purpose trim'd vp for Semiramis.
    Say thou wilt walke: we wil bestrow the ground.
    Or wilt thou ride? Thy horses shal be trap'd,
    Their harnesse studded all with Gold and Pearle.
    195Dost thou loue hawking? Thou hast hawkes will soare
    Aboue the morning Larke. Or wilt thou hunt,
    Thy hounds shall make the Welkin answer them
    And fetch shrill ecchoes from the hollow earth.
    1.Man.Say thou wilt course, thy gray-hounds are as (swift
    200As breathed Stags: I fleeter then the Roe.
    2.M. Dost thou loue pictures? we wil fetch thee strait
    Adonis painted by a running brooke,
    And Citherea all in sedges hid,
    Which seeme to moue and wanton with her breath,
    205Euen as the wauing sedges play with winde.
    Lord. Wee'l shew thee Io, as she was a Maid,
    And how she was beguiled and surpriz'd,
    As liuelie painted, as the deede was done.
    3.Man. Or Daphne roming through a thornie wood,
    210Scratching her legs, that one shal sweare she bleeds,
    And at that sight shal sad Apollo weepe,
    So workmanlie the blood and teares are drawne.
    Lord. Thou art a Lord, and nothing but a Lord:
    Thou hast a Ladie farre more Beautifull,
    215Then any woman in this waining age.
    1 Man. And til the teares that she hath shed for thee,
    Like enuious flouds ore-run her louely face,
    She was the fairest creature in the world,
    And yet shee is inferiour to none.
    220Beg. Am I a Lord, and haue I such a Ladie?
    Or do I dreame? Or haue I dream'd till now?
    I do not sleepe: I see, I heare, I speake:
    I smel sweet sauours, and I feele soft things:
    Vpon my life I am a Lord indeede,
    225And not a Tinker, nor Christopher Slie.
    Well, bring our Ladie hither to our sight,
    And once againe a pot o'th smallest Ale.